Archive for July, 2017

Many faces of The Captain- Settlers’ Watch- Lorain 2017

Photo Mark Teleha

As I started to write this post with regard to the tree carvings at Settlers’ Watch and their journey
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/settlers-watch-an-overview/
( yes you will see they have travelled over time) I realized we were coming up on the 10th anniversary of the first carvings. Time, bugs, road salt and weather have taken their toll.

But it is “The Captain” who has changed and was on life support for a year or more. We spent hundreds in chemicals and treatments and this is his story.

Born 2007 The Captain had a rough birth- CVSI had raised money to carve some of trees taken down by Ohio Edison – 19 of them along 2nd street making the street uglier and without any softness or much worth .

We had just started the carving – first up Lorain Portside Sign to coincide with the Lorain Bicentennial August 2007
https://www.flickr.com/photos/12219598@N06/

when a change in the plan for the new sewers blindsided us. Originally these were going to bypass the area BUT as with all things plans change and trees marked for carving were taken down ( without warning) and piles of materials were stored on the site. We had already taken donations and the carvings were contracted.

This meant since they chopped down his tree and the one destined to be Eric Barnes Eagle we had to purchase other pieces of wood to be carved into the Captain and Eric Barnes Eagle off site.
The eagle when finished was safely stored at inside at the City of Lorain but the Captain went to Black River Landing.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/the-captain-arrives-and-the-eagle-landed/

He was supposed to be sealed and not stored on concrete due to the heat coming up from the concrete and in direct sunlight- this didn’t happen . Unfortunately, in the ensuing months of not being maintained , the toll taken by summer and winter the Captain started with issues.

2007-2008

Photo Mark Teleha


When we finally brought him back to the site he was very dry and whilst the other carvings took a gallon of sealer for all 4 he took 2 gallons by himself, he was soaking it up like a sponge but he and the other carvings finally had a home

Photo Mark Teleha

There he stood spring , summer , fall and winter for the next 4 years

Lorain365

His other problem is he attracts seagulls – these seagulls have a tendency to sit on his hat and poop – that poop eats away at the sealer opening his wood up to the elements and bugs .In 4 years he went from this to this

And his issues continued:

It was one day (during Pride Day 3 years ago) as we went to give him a coat of sealer we noticed what looked like a bullet hole in his back. No! not a bullet hole BUT wood wasps had made their homes in him, and the Heron and Lighthouse.

The Heron and Lighthouse were a quick fix but the Captain had a attracted seagulls who delighted in sitting on his hat . Their guano had eaten through the sealer and the wood on the top of his head leaving a huge hole in his head – just brilliant for collecting water. .

Research was started as how to preserve him and his crumbling insides- Many hundreds of dollars later we tried with preservatives , bug deterrents – drilling holes in him filling him with the wood chemicals, stabilizing wood pieces and plugging him up. We reached out to professionals all over the country. We added a hat over his carved head until we could deal with the damage and the seagulls. We had to leave his head open to access his insides.

Photo Lorain 365

Try as we might, his rotted insides didn’t react well and the chemicals actually reacted with the sealer and the Captain turned a dark mahogany.

He was literally flaking to death – his ship’s wheel would find the stanchions falling to the ground, his arms where the wasps and insects had done the most damage were hollow and flaking off, shedding with every week. It looked like curtains for the Captain. Obviously none of the “professional fixes ” were working we had to stabilize him whilst we experimented – otherwise the Captain was sunk.

His hat was retied onto his head ,back to front to protect his face , his cracks and holes filled with a special wood compound but

would it harden- would it stay- could we carve it -like the can said?

We worked on the top of his arms and shoulders , replaced the wheel stanchions . covered his top half with a black bag to keep out the water and painted his lower half with a white preservative- and there he sat for most of last summer, fall and winter.

Photo Lorain 365

The unveiling was done with much trepidation this June

The test areas seemed to be holding so the next step filling the insides- no more bugs but cavities were still a huge problem, experiments with special insulation foam and various fill products seemed to work- he was less hollow and stable. Where the foam etc leaked out we could carve it and it held the wood product alright and so we left him without his black bag and the water was shedding off him .

So there we were – what next? Obviously we couldn’t leave him looking like he was and we could no longer seal it with the varnish- The men in the know-( his surgeons) decided house paint.. but that would look awful I thought but something has to be done to cover and seal the patches etc. House paint it was – Tudor Brown ( can you guess where that came from)- well it looks good on my house) – the problem was he looked flat and semi glossed… a bit softening and highlighting, the Captains face changed again –

He is a little grayer ( more like driftwood than mahogany this time around) – but then who wouldn’t be grayer after all he has been through- I know I am! Fingers crossed and if you would like to donate to the Captain’s Hat
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/passing-the-captains-hat-2015-update/

If you can see your way to helping to fill the Captains Hat – 100% percent of your donation goes to the project. We are a 501C3
Make checks payable to Charleston Village Society- ( Captain’s Hat in the memo line)
1127 West 4th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44052

There is still work to do at the very base and if this fix holds then hopefully he will remain at his helm for a few more years …Oh and his hat was put back on just incase a seagull alights!!!

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July 26, 2017 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

I try I really do – City of Lorain-OPEN LETTER

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE MORE IS SAID THAN DONE!!!!

I have tried for years to help, give the benefit of the doubt but I am totally “cheesed off” – nothing changes – and why is that – no accountability. I have had retaliation, vindictiveness hurled through words and concrete for my trouble. BUT the tipping point has come…..

Check it out I have paid my taxes , volunteered up the yin yang – been involved for 30 years – took a derelict lot next door ( which we purchased for a nominal sum) but have now put into that lot over $22,000 in the last year . We didn’t have to do that we could have taken down the diseased and dangerous tree and just cut the grass.

Hello, City of Lorain having the new blue cart system, that wouldn’t fit behind our property like the old cans – just so my neighbors didn’t have to look at them cooking in the sunshine – we purchased a little home for them ( another 400 dollars) and covered them with trellis and roses .

So why is it when most of the street is adhering to rules for the past weeks( since the new garbage rules came out ) – I have watched garbage piles ( from the same address walk up and down the street for 9 weeks before it disappeared one night, grass that gets cut whenever.

and now for the 2nd week looked at mattresses infested with bed bugs ( Dale the Bed Bug Exterminator came and sprayed) WHY for the 2nd week have we looked at 2 box spring and mattresses leaning up against a dividing hedge.

Well I suppose it hides from view the red dump truck that is once again making it and its load part of the streetscape for the past 4 years – goes away and comes back like an unwanted relative. And around the corner more garbage and trash.

OK I get it some people will not follow the rules, don’t care or too lazy to follow but WHY should the rest of us have to put up with it…… why make any rules at all…… the Building Dept representative on facebook saying their side of the story

Heather Graves All of these lovely comments. I have one question and one question only to each and every one of you. When you go to work in the morning, afternoon, evening whatever the case may be…when your boss tells you to do something -you do it correct? I went through all of the comments. So…most of them are complaining because he is doing something. Others are complaining because he’s not citing in their neighborhoods. You do realize you can’t have it both ways correct? You can’t expect him to only cite what you don’t approve of. By all means make the complaints. The building department will do due process. If it’s a ghost foreclosure..meaning the bank gave orders to vacate and then never took possession…that house could sit there for YEARS, and then all of you can assume that it’s owned by the City of Lorain. Then there are the homes that are owned by someone that lives in Florida. What does anyone expect from that? Put out a warrant and send a pair of cops to go pick them up? I think you all need a reality check as far as what can and can’t be done in this city. I know…because I work in this department. As far as the gentleman that had his house taken a picture of after he took a picture of the inspector. Can you stop for a second and consider what these guys go through everyday? Constant complaints on them…threats…you have no idea. I get it…there is a genuine distaste for city workers, but please consider that we aren’t all bad. Most of us just want to go to work; work and go home without being yelled at, criticized and called names. We are all making our living one day at a time just as everyone else. I hope you all read this and at least a slight part of the other side.

You have my sympathy Ms. Graves but you and the staff are getting paid a million or so to do your jobs if it is so impossible to do them then maybe we should rethink the department and what will work…….. because I am not getting paid to look at trash and see property values tank WE ARE PAYING FOR THE PRIVILEGE ……….

July 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm 4 comments

July 3rd – The storm- Chris Ritchey

Yesterday evening, the storms started – they came in waves- clouds whipping around in the wind as if they were of rapids in the sky, lightening making the night sky bright for a few seconds at a time pulsating in intensity , thunder- a cacophony of discontent at odds with a summer evening , rain pummeling the windows , joining forces to flood the streets , swirling , beating down the plants , trees bowing their sodden branches to the earth.

A respite between storms found the earth shaking off the deluge only to be attacked again and again. There was an energy present , terrifying in its capabilities and yet hope the storm would move away.

Moonbeam – photo Chris Ritchey


Then at 2.20 am it was not the sound of another raging storm that woke me from another night of fitful sleep- it was the silence, the eerie stillness that had blanketed the night. The only sound coming through the now open window was of the little water fountain. I lay quiet myself and thought how the storm , to me, made me recall once again those horrible terrifying days of the cancer cure…. a storm that destroyed and changed forever this family leaving us with the debris from destruction. The days of respite and hope finally culminating in the crashing down to earth of hope, bowed and broken.

The quietness of the surreal world after you passed, the not knowing what to do how to get back to a place of hope-for months you had been my whole purpose – waking and sleeping, you became my vocation – every day was filled with you – driving, cooking,waiting whilst chemo was administered, watching you sleep, researching . Then the eye of the storm passed

Depths of despair – artwork Chris Ritchey

only to once again be caught up in the lightning strikes of grief coming ever closer.. the tumultuous tides that wash over my soul.


Just as the leftover rain drops cling to the plants weighing the down waiting for the sun to ease their burden before they break with the sheer weight of it all my tears are for you- The storm for you is done but I am still lost in the darkness waiting…… I love you Chris …

July 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm 1 comment


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